pacific garbage screening
The oceans and seas are the basis of all life on earth, but humans are increasingly destroying it. More than ten percent of plastic ends up in the oceans worldwide.
In 2015 322 million tons of plastic were produced worldwide, and that number is rising every year. The pile of plastic garbage grows each day. Most of the plastic produced since 1959 can be found in its original form in landfill sites, in nature, in our rivers and in our oceans.
This is one of our biggest environmental problems of our time, and something we don’t currently have a solution for.
How does the plastic end up in the ocean?
Every minute a full garbage truck dumps its load somewhere in the world’s oceans. Which amounts to 8 million tons of plastic a year. If we keep putting that much garbage into our oceans, the amount will be quadruplicated by 2050.
Worldwide there are five major garbage patches, created by humans and shaped by the ocean’s currents. The ocean’s plastic is concentrated in these patches and slowly breaks down into little pieces.
In all parts of our oceans, plastic can be found. The complex system of currents moves the plastic into the most distant corners of the world. The amount of plastic in the world’s ocean is estimated to 150 million tons. That is roughly a fifth of the weight of all the fish in our oceans.
Researchers expect 1 ton of plastic per 3 tons of fish by 2025. If we do not drastically reduce the consumption of plastic, there will be the same amount of plastic as fish in the oceans by 2050.